VIDEO: Watch Niki Lauda on Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
"The fight gets hotter the longer Nico is in front" says Mercedes non-executive chairman
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 06/07/16 8:32am
Niki Lauda has laughed off the claim that Lewis Hamilton's relationship with Nico Rosberg is better than ever.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday last month, Hamilton said a "relaxed" 20-minute chat by the pool in Monaco proved that the Mercedes team-mates had settled their differences and matured.
"It's actually really good with Nico at the moment," he said. "Really, really good. Surprisingly.
'Mercedes could suspend Hamilton & Rosberg'
"I would definitely not have expected it to be where it is. I guess it is probably with age. He's a family man. He's got a kid. He has probably grown in that process and I have grown and come of age. The respect that we have always talked about is bigger than it has ever been."
But Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda, speaking prior to the pair's last-lap crash at the Austrian GP, claims the Brit was not telling the truth and that the rivalry keeps getting "hotter".
"Lewis lied about that," Lauda said on Servus TV. "Simple as that. He just said something. He wanted to be the softener in order to have his peace last weekend.
"He does what he can. The fight gets hotter the longer Nico is in front."
Lauda also added that Hamilton was so enraged following his qualifying crash in Baku that he "destroyed" his driver room in the Mercedes motorhome.
"He did it because he crashed," the Austrian explained. "He'll have to pay for it, you can count on that.
"He told me I couldn't come in because he was going to destroy everything. This is how it was."
Don't miss the F1 Report: Austrian GP review on Sky Sports F1 at 8.30pm on Wednesday as Stoffel Vandoorne and Jaime Alguersuari join Marc Priestley in the studio.